How Do You Get a Job in Cybersecurity?

CyberSecurityBecause organizations are overwhelmed by hackers and cyber-criminals, there are plenty of jobs in cyber-security available for IT experts who know how to protect systems and prevent intrusions. Cyber-security professionals may choose to work in the private sector or the public sector with an agency of The Department of Homeland Security (DHS).

Cyber-security Trends

Every year, millions of viruses are released through the Internet. The FBI shows that there are a variety of cyber-threats, such as identify theft, Internet fraud and cyber-crimes related crimes like terrorism. Cyber-criminals are moving on from targeting individuals to business employees, such as through emailing phishing scams with infected attachments. After stealing personal information, hackers often sell the data through online black market websites. Because of these trends, companies are hiring cyber-security experts and paying and treating them well. Salaries are slowing rising for regular employees, but rising fast for IT managers. Accredited education and industry security certification are the two biggest contributing factors to career success.


Security certifications are a must when working in the cyber-security field. Sometimes, IT professionals simply want to improve their skills, but others want to gain a competitive advantage during job and promotion interviews. Most employers use certifications as an eligibility requirement for employment. Certifications will help the holders secure pay increases and career advancements. Earning a certification demonstrates competency in the target subject matter and shows that the holder is dedicated to their career. The two most popular certifications are the GIAC Security Expert (GSE) and the Certified Information Systems Security Professional (CISSP). Cisco offers their Cybersecurity Specialist (CS) certification, but major universities also offer graduate level professional certifications.


In order to secure a job in cyber-security, one must have the appropriate degree in cyber-security. Many of these degrees offer specializations. For example, a degree in cyber-security management will train students how to protect an organization’s critical information and data assets by maintaining comprehensive security systems and applying the principles of risk management. This degree will train students how to design cyber security goals, assist in recovery of operations and create real-time solutions. A network concentration will introduce students to the principles of local-area and wide-area network implementation and administration. Class participants will learn how to monitor IT systems, create effective policies and meet organizational goals. A software development specialization will include coursework about software tests, reverse engineering and vulnerability evaluations.

Most Popular Industries

The industries with the highest demand for cyber-security professionals include banking, investing, national security and professional services, such as law firms and government contractors. Recent legislative updates, such as the federal mandate that health care organizations must transition to electronic health record systems, has create a huge demand for IT experts in the health care industry. Industries with intermediate levels of cyber-security needs include education, manufacturing and telecommunications. The industries with the lowest need for cyber-security professionals are travel, agriculture, construction and transportation.

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Keep in mind that practical, technical skills are equally important as a degree and certification. When interviewing for a job in cybersecurity, candidates should demonstrate that they are a flexible and multi-talented team players.